"Welcome to the McCain Ranch"
There are some days when nothing goes right. Well, I had one of those days
in this episode. Today, Mark did something that he thought was good, but
ended it…well…getting me into some trouble!
You see, it all started one morning at the Castro Stage Depot when Rebecca
Snipe, the sister of some local ranchers was catching the stage back to
North Fork. She overheard a conversation among two men. "You leaving us
Earl?" She heard a man say outside the coach.
"I'm taking a little trip on the stagecoach Mike," said Earl.
"Whatcha' gonna do?"
"Meeting some friends, Injun Adams and Roy Thursday," said Earl.
"What are you boys up to this time?"
"I'll tell you, but if you pass it on to the law I'll deny saying it. We're
gonna kill us a man, friend. We're gonna kill us a big man – a big man with
a big mouth," bragged Earl.
Fortunate for me, he was so busy shooting off his mouth that he didn't
realize that someone had overheard what they had intended to do. Rebecca
never acknowledged what she had just heard and the stagecoach ride to North
Fork went smoothly.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch it was hair-cutting time for Mark. "Ouch," said
Mark as I snipped his hair.
"Sorry, son." I gave a short laugh.
"Pa why can't I get my haircut downtown like you?" Mark complained. He
didn’t like the way I cut hair.
"Well we can only afford one store bought haircut this month son," I lightly
Suddenly, Mark got really serious. "Pa, can I ask you a question?"
"Just so you hold your head still.” I answered him. “What do you want to ask
"It ain't easy to ask, I've been meaning to ask you for a long time," said
"Sounds important. Why don't you ask and get it over with?"
"Well, [he hesitates] do you, [again he hesitates] have you ever thought of
marrying another woman?"
"Marrying a-“ I started, shocked. He had turned his head around to look at
me. I turned it back around and started snipping again. “What made you think
"Well, like I said, I've been thinkin' of it for quite a spell."
It was then that I happened to glance down at an open book lying on the
table. There was a picture of a woman with a boy sitting on her lap. It
appeared as if she was reading to him. Now it all seemed to be coming
together. I grinned and said, "Yes, I'd like to take another wife someday,
"When?" Asked Mark.
I couldn’t believe all the questions! "When I find the right woman."
"How will you know her?" Mark pressed me.
"I think I'll know her when I meet her son,” I was hoping my short answers
would discourage him from asking further questions. It didn’t.
With a big grin on his face he asked, "What will she be like?"
I had already thought about that. "Well, she'll have to cook and sew and
scrub. Her hands gotta be soft, she's gotta have hair like crimson as the
setting sun. Eyes as brown as chestnuts. She's gotta wear a flower because
that's womanly. And she’s gotta ride a horse like a man."
"A woman like that is gonna be kinda hard to find, ain't she Pa?" Asked
"Very hard to find son," I said. It was time for the conversation to end! I
told Mark to get washed up and we'd go downtown and pick up the material for
that new shed.
When we got to town, Mark went to ask Hattie to set me out a keg of ten
penny nails and get some candy. As he came out of the General Store, he saw
Rebecca getting off the stage, He was mesmerized with her. She was the
prettiest girl he had ever seen. To Mark, Rebecca looked exactly like the
ideal wife-the one that I described earlier. She had all the qualities I was
looking for in a woman. So he decided to find out some information about
her. Rebecca went into the stage depot to wait for her brothers to pick her
up. Mark poked his head inside of the depot. Rebecca saw him and invited him
in to talk with her. "Hello. Come on over. I won't bite you," said Rebecca.
Mark took off his hat and went over to sit down and talk to Rebecca. "What's
your name?" Asked Rebecca.
"Mark McCain." Rebecca smiled warmly at him. "Mark? Well that's from the
Bible," said Rebecca.
"Yes ma'am. Kinda runs in the family. I have an uncle named Abraham, my
grandmother's name was Ruth, and my Pa's name is Lucas. That's long for
Luke, I think,” said Mark.
She told him that she had two brothers, Joshua and Peter. She then
introduced herself as Rebecca. The Bible names ran in her family too.
Mark asked her if she was visiting someone here in town. Rebecca told him
that she lived here but was away visiting relativities in Kansas.
Mark thought for a minute. Then he nodded his head when he reached his
decision. "Ma'am, do you have a husband?" Mark asked.
Rebecca was taken aback by the question. "Do I what?"
"Do you have a husband?" He asked impatiently, not sure why he had to repeat
"Well, no…no not yet," she replied. “But I hope to have one someday. I hope
to have a husband and a boy exactly like you."
Mark smiled. She was becoming more perfect in his eyes with each passing
moment. "Do you really mean that?” he asked.
"Of Course I do," replied Rebecca.
“Can I ask you something else?” Mark asked.
“Go right ahead.”
"Do you ride a horse?"
“Well, I ride a horse very well, thank you. I can outrun both my brothers.”
"You wait right here, ma’am. I'll be right back," Mark said excitedly.
He hurried to find me so he could introduce me to Rebecca. He thought she
was the perfect match for me!
He grabbed me by the arm and took me to the depot to meet Rebecca. It didn't
take long for me to figure out what Mark's intentions were. “Miss Rebecca,
I’d like you to meet up with my pa!” Mark declared.
That’s when I knew my boy had been up to mischief! I should have jumped on
my horse right then and rode straight home! I took my hat off and introduced
myself. There was an awkward silence in the air as I tried to find a
dignified way to get myself out of this situation. I looked at Mark then
said, “It seems to be a…nice day for traveling.”
Apparently this was just as awkward for her as it was for me. “Yes. Yes,
it’s a very nice day.” She answered.
I cast another glance at Mark. Oh fine! Throw me into this situation, then
make me climb out myself! “Are you leaving or just getting here?” I asked
with a smile. How was I going to get myself out of here?
Mark spoke up then. But, boy I wish he hadn’t! “She lives here, pa. Said
she’d like to get married and have a boy…something like me.”
“Mark!” I couldn’t believe this. I tried to think of what to say, but no
words could come. Man was I embarrassed!“
"You have quite a lad, Mr. McCain,” Rebecca commented.
Boy did I! I couldn’t wait to get him outside! “He’s a…” I cast him an
annoyed glance. “Fair boy!” I answered.
Just when I thought it could get no worse…”My pa ain’t married neither,
Rebecca looked questionably at me. I had to explain. “My wife passed away,”
I explained. What could she say?
Well, thankfully the door opened and two men walked in. I was finally
rescued and had a dignified way to leave as fast as I could! But if I only
knew their walking in would mean more trouble for me later! After I left,
she actually thought that I had sent Mark in there to pump her for
It was now time for me to set a few things straight with this boy of mine!
“You know, I have a strong feeling you had notions on me courtin’ that
girl!” I scolded him lightly.
“She’s sure pretty! Prettiest girl I ever seen!” Mark stated innocently.
“She’s a shade young! She’d make you a better sister than a mother!” I
“She’s full grown!” Mark argued.
“That girl is nearer your age then mine, boy!” I declared.
“She is?” Mark screwed up his face in disbelief.
“She is!” I looked at him sternly. “Let’s not do anything like that again,
huh?” I warned.
“Yes pa. “ Mark said. Then he thought, “She sure did fit! Crimson hair,
chestnut eyes, wear’s flowers, got soft hands…She rides a horse like a man,
I hated to ask this…”How’d you find that out?”
“I asked her.” I knew I didn’t want to know. “Of course, I didn’t ask her
about cookin’ and such, cause all women can do that.”
I raised an eyebrow at
him and told him to run along and tend the team while I took Razor to the
blacksmith’s to get his shoe looked at. If I sent him to the wagon, he
couldn’t be any more trouble to me.
As I went to untie razor, a man stated, “A big man with a big mouth.” He
sneered at me. I decided to ignore him. I didn’t need any more trouble
Micah came over and told me that the Snipe brother's had been asking
questions about me. I told him I didn't know them. He told me they were a
bunch of wild ones. They never break the law more then to spend a Saturday
night in jail. “Rougher then a bronc. If they're again ya' it just too bad.
If they like ya', you usually end up in trouble because you know them. You
just can't win," said Micah. He said if he found out why they we're
interested in me, he'd let me know.
I went over to pick up my supplies at Hattie's. She told me some guy had
been asking about me. I told her that Micah had already told me. I didn’t
know at the time that there were two different problems brewing up. She then
asked me if I was going by the depot and would I give the sewing basket to
the lady who had bought it. She seemed to have left without it. I told her I
When I left the store, Rebecca stopped me “I believe that’s mine,” she
nodded at the sewing stand.
“Oh, is it? I was just bringing it to you.”
“Not knowing who’s it is?” she questioned. I told her that Hattie in the
store told me to give it to the lady in front of the depot.
toward the depot and I noticed several ladies there.
“I guess she forgot to mention which one.” She took it from me and I hurried
to the wagon.
But I didn’t get far. I was about to discover that Mark’s matchmaking did
cause more trouble than I thought. "Howdy," said Joshua Snipe.
I asked him what I could do for them. They wanted to get better acquainted,
buy me a drink. "Milk, cause we ain't allowed in the saloons in this town,"
said Peter. I told them I appreciated the offer, but I declined. They
thought I wasn't being neighborly, so I decided to one glass of milk and
then I'd be on my way.
"What'll it be, cow or goat?" asked Joshua. Peter ordered half cow's & half
goat's milk, he said the goat's milk was good for a
man's completion. I thought they were a bit strange when they toasted “the
flag.” Then they started asking me about my spread. I told them Mark and I
“How much a year do you figure to clear on that place?” Joshua asked.
“That’s a personal question, mister!” I stated.
“Oh, I reckon that something personal, but if your aiming to set your sites
on our sister, we gotta know something about you!”
“If I’m what?” It didn’t take me long to put it all together. They had seen
me with her a couple times and thought I actually had intentions towards
her. I assured them I had no intentions whatsoever.
“NONE!” I declared
Mark had the wagon ready. “Ready to travel, Pa?”
“Mmm hmmm.” was all I said. Boy, this child has gotten me into some trouble
I thought we were ready to ride down to the blacksmith’s, but Micah gave me
some more news. He told me this seemed to be the day for people to ask
questions about me. Someone else was interested in me.
"Who?" I asked.
He motioned to a man setting on the bench. The man had an evil smile on his
face. Micah said he had been asking question about where I live and how to
So I approached the man. “I hear you’ve been asking questions.” He nodded.
“Well, why don’t you ask me? I know more about me than anyone else!” I was
in no mood for this.
“I found out all I want to know,” he answered.
“For what reason?”
“I just like to ask questions. It ain’t against the law to ask questions,
now is it? Now, you wouldn’t shoot me with that rifle for just asking
questions, now would ya'?” The whole entire time, he had a wicked smile on
his face. I knew he was up to no good.
“I don’t know what you’ve got in mind, mister. But for now on I got my eye
I started to walk away. "Roy Thursday told me to say hello to you." I looked
at him and walked away. I remembered Roy Thursday; my testimony had put him
Mark drove me over to the Blacksmith’s, then I told him to ride on ahead and
I'd pick up Razor and catch up with him down the road. Nels wasn't finished
shoeing Razor, so I had to wait a few minutes. I decided to go down the
street. I saw Earl Battle and got preoccupied. I wasn’t paying attention to
where I was going.
Another disaster took place: I ran smack into Rebecca. Her packages spilled.
I wanted nothing more but to run for the hills, but I was a gentleman and
helped her with her packages. That was a mistake. “Mr. McCain, you are
getting to be a bad habit!” she declared.
“Guess I wasn’t watching where I was going,” I tried to explain.
“Are you sure you didn’t know where you were going?” she accused me.
Suddenly, her brothers were there. “Well I’d be dogged if he ain’t at it
again!” Joshua said. “I thought you said you weren’t interested in our
Boy, was I ever in for more trouble! The brothers towered over me as I
kneeled on the ground helping Rebecca with her packages. “You know, mister.
I’m beginning to think you are downright dishonest!”
“Believe me,” I said. “Today just isn’t my day! Right now, all I’d like to
do is ride on back home!” Boy, if only they knew how much I wanted to do
“Maybe it ain’t a wedding you’re interested in. Maybe you been lolly-gagging
around Rebecca for some other reason. “ Joshua accused me.
Oh, I can’t believe this. “Ma’am, I apologize for having your name spoke
That’s it! I was gonna fight these guys, and it would be my pleasure to whip
them. We went around back. I knocked out the big one – Peter. Then Joshua
took off his hat. “You hurt my brother!” He said as he faced me. I don’t
believe it! I was so tired of these guys, so I gave one more hard punch,
knocking out Joshua.
I shook my hat out and gave Rebecca a dirty look, daring her to say
anything. I climbed on Razor and took off for home. But I’d learn that having those three in my
life was a good thing! Because Rebecca watched three men follow me out of
I got home and told Mark to unsaddle razor. Then I went to fix supper.
That’s when I saw Earl Battle, Injun Adams and Roy Thursday on the porch of
my home looking for me.
In a low voice I told Mark to put the light out and get down. The three men
heard me and turned, Battle with a gun on me. Thursday told me that he
planned on killing me..."A big man with a big mouth." My testimony had sent
Thursday to jail some time back and he threatened to kill me for it.
I fired my rifle Bang! And killed Earl Battle.
I fired some more shots, but couldn’t hit them. I realized I was in too much
danger staying outside, so I ran into the barn. “Mark, I said get down!”
After making sure he obeyed me, I ran to the window and fired my next shot.
Bang! It was a bulls eye shot! Roy Thursday was dead. All I had left was
Injun Adams. I fired some more shots from the barn, but knew I could not hit
I snuck out the side door and started to open the gate, but I hit a pail.
Injun knew where I was. I softly snuck up onto the porch to go inside my
house to kill him. Little did I know that he was behind me. A shot rang
through the air.
I suddenly turned. Injun Adams lay dead at my feet. I looked up. A look of
shock appeared on my face when I realized who was there.
The Snipe brothers!
"Looks like you needed a friend, neighbor!” Joshua declared. “Looks like.”
“No hard feelings?" They asked. They told me that their sister had saved my
life. When she saw them follow me out of town she put two and
two together and told them what she had overheard at the stage depot. They
decided to check it out! I thanked the three of them.
“You wanta hear something else funny?” Joshua asked. “Rebecca’s been engaged
ever since she got back.” She had tried to hide it, but they spotted the
ring around her neck and she had to tell them. “Looks like you missed out!”
Rebecca told them to tell me about Rhoda. They gladly did. Boy, what a
perfect ending for an imperfect day!
piddlin' stuff.....The mustache 'tuff guy' (Peter Snipe) was
He played Eric 'Hoss' Cartwright on Bonanza.
Bonanza was not on the air
until a year later. In which three episodes do we see two of the 'Cartwright
boys?' There were five actors who appeared on The Rifleman that were
regulars on Bonanza — do you know who they were?
Mort Mills appeared in
two episodes ―
The Sister as Joshua Snipe, one
of Rebecca's brother ― The Jealous
Man as Jake Owens, he was the jealous husband.
played Rebecca Snipe. She's the one Mark thought would be a good
match for his 'Pa'.
who played Earl Battle, the cowboy who was going to kill him a big man
with a big mouth.
Harris appeared in three episodes
― The Sister
as the man
who was talking to Earl Battle in the beginning of the episode
― The Challenge as the cowhand in the saloon
The Anvil Chorus as Ed Bundy, he was the cowboy whose
wife just had a baby boy.
as Injun Adams. He was the dad dude that wore the derby.
David Tyrrell as Roy Thursday, the
leader of the gang who was out to get Lucas.
Hope Summers appeared in
sixteen episodes as Hattie Denton, owner of The General Store.
Hattie was first introduced to The Rifleman in Eight Hours to Die.
appeared in nine episodes ―
Duel of Honor as Ed Simmons, one of the passengers on the stagecoach
― The Safe Guard as Charlie the bank teller ―
The Sister as one of
the cowboys watching the fight ― The Challenge as a customer in the
store ― The Photographer as a cowboy on the Jury ―
Man as the hotel clerk and a townsman ―
The Obituary as a
townsman ― The Illustrator as the man getting off the stage ―
The Grasshopper as the man in the booth who sold the
— Stuntman — Stunt coordinator — Actor - Archie has been in more
episodes then anybody with the exception of the regular cast and he probably
was in more episode then some of them. ~Arnold Laven
Remember him in The Sharpshooter? Remember when Lucas shot the whiskey
bottle and it shattered into pieces? Archie was the cowboy who slid the
whiskey bottle to Lucas.
Sometimes Archie was a stand-in for Paul Fix.
John Dierkes played Nels in
Duel of Honor ― The Sister. How many actors played Nels, Nile or was
it Neils? Was it Swenson or was it Svenson? For the answer in
detail and pictures.....go to the
Bob Woodward appeared
in seven episodes ― The Young Englishman as
a cowhand, the one with the rope ― The Safe Guard as the cowboy
driving the wagon that is carrying the safe to North Fork ― The Sister as a stagecoach driver ―
The Indian as a cowboy in the saloon ― 'Shivaree' as one of
participating in the Shivaree ― The Dead-eye Kid as the stagecoach
driver ― The Angry Man as one of the cowboys who helped load
Carey into the wagon.
appeared in twenty episodes and still counting. Besides acting in
The Rifleman he was also a stunt
double for Chuck Connors.
Who is the young lady in this episode?
appeared in three episodes ― In the Duel of Honor her name is
Roberta Hunt. She was one of the ladies on the stagecoach. You can hear
Eddie call her by her characters name Roberta Hunt, but she never
received credit ― In The Sister and The Apprentice
Sheriff you can see her in the
also think I spotted her in Boomerang but I couldn't get a good
look at her to be sure.
In this episode Mark mentions his Grandmothers name and another uncle's
name.....do you remember what they were?
(hint - it's not his Uncle
The Sister - Bloopers
You've heard Lucas' story, now hear Mark's
around The McCain Ranch